This is my story
My name is Thato Mphamo. I am a Breast Cancer Survivor!
I FOUGHT FOR MY MOTHER…
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on the 25th of July 2020 and I would like to share my journey with you.
It was in February 2020 on a Friday night, while I was laying on my bed, bored, when I felt this huge ball on my left breast and realised that I have a lump. The following weekend I went home to see my mom and told her about it. That’s when she also felt it and suggested that I must go to the doctor on Monday.
My best friend whom we became sisters, I was in hospital by then and she was diagnosed with breast cancer which also took her precious life on the 15th of February 2020 (May Your Beautiful Soul Rest In Peace Bee).
As my mom suggested that I must go to see the doctor, so that is what I did on Monday. I went to the nearby clinic, they transferred me to the local hospital. When I got to the hospital the doctors (different people) said this is just a lump (non-cancerous) so I suggested that I want to take out the lump. They gave me the date in July 2020. Unfortunately we were in lockdown and the hospital doctors said they are only doing emergency operations only. They said they will call me once everything has settled.
On the 4th of July 2020 I was attending a funeral and everything was fine, until I started having this huge pains on my liver later on. I didn’t know what was going on and everything was not making sense until my little sister gave me some pain killers which of course, didn’t help and we went home where my aunt gave me some herbal tea, that helped at least a little and I managed to sleep after drinking it.
The following Monday I took a decision to go and see the doctor again. He couldn’t find anything and he suggested that I must go and see the specialist. I did go to the specialist, he ran some tests and suggested that I must go to Milpark to see Prof Carol Ann Benn, that is when I started being scared, because he explained to me that Prof Benn deals with cancer people and she will be able to detected it sooner if I have it. All good and well the following day I went to see Prof Benn then she suggested that I must take few tests, scans, mammogram and biopsy of which I did. Later on the 24th of July 2020 that is when I received a call from Prof Benn that I must come to her office immediately as we need go talk.
I was at work when tears starts falling down and by then I hadn't received the results as yet. I went to Prof Benn’s office the following day and I received the bad news. I was alone and nothing was making sense by then. Remember I lost a friend in February 2020 and in July 2020 I am diagnosed with the same disease that took her life. I was devastated, but I prayed and told my 2 cousins that that I have cancer (HER2 POSITIVE BREAST CANCER GRADE 3) and they must not tell mom as yet.
My mom was calling me and I didn’t take her calls the whole day the very same day I received the bad news. Then I made a decision on the same night that I am going to take treatment no matter what I AM TO YOUNG TO DIE.
After 2 days, that is when I have decided to tell my mom, believe you me, she cried more than me and she said you need to start praying and believe that God will pull through. On the 7th of August 2020 I started with my chemo and I took 4 circles. My hair started falling and my nails started changing colour and I lost weight. I was crying almost every day because I was in pain but I acted strong and that killed me.
First circle of my chemo was strong and it messed up with my system. Thank God my little sister was forever at home with me, so she was able to help me with some of the things like food and medication. The other evening, I wrote a resignation letter to my boss, as I couldn’t take it anymore but something said that it is too early, then I deleted the letter.
Little did I know that things will be fine soon. I went through for my second circle and I was starting to feel better and the nurses told me that I need to pray for strength and healing and I did. I spoke to my God almost every second I get, lol I know it sounds crazy, but I did and I asked him why did he choose me to suffer so much.
I started telling more people about my cancer. That is when I started feeling much better, stopped crying and started fighting like a girl. Nothing was making sense, believe you me, because on my third circle of chemo the doctor ran some tests and he said you are 92% cancer free. It felt like a dream and I didn’t believe him but well I trusted that God is trying to show me something. I did my fourth circle which of course it was my last one on the 4th of October 2020 (the happiest day of my life).
On the 13th of November 2020 I was supposed to be going to Cape Town with my girls but God said you are not going anywhere my dear child, that is when I did my breast reconstruction operation (removal of cancer tissues and breast reduction on both my breast). The operation took 5/6 hours and I didn't know why. I was in pain as I had 2 tubes on my breasts that were draining out blood, after I cried myself to sleep the very same night after the operation and I don’t know why.
The following day I was discharged and I went home for 6 weeks. I was home healing and I still thank God for showing up. I had an amazing supporting structure from my family, colleagues, friends and warriors (cancer survivors).
I am now back to work and I am about to start with my radiation soon but everything is fine now and I feel alive again.
I can’t wait to finish the course but I know it will happen sooner than I think.